One HomeKit Provider to rule them all

I’m looking into getting into home automation.

The thing I’m struggling with is the idea that I need so many different hubs. Here’s what I’m looking to automate:

  • a dimmer switch for “old fashioned” lights
  • some sockets
  • possibly a hue style table top light

Do I really have to get these from three different suppliers with three different hubs?!

If you get 3 different systems it’s quite possible you’ll need 3 hubs. We’ve consolidated to Hue lights (bulbs, switches - which don’t replace the wall ones, and lamp/lights) and Logitech Pop buttons which control lights and the Sonos. That’s just 2 bridges which is manageable.

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Rosemary, that is the setup we have gone with. Two hubs aren’t bad. And they combine quite nicely and work great (much better than my Lifx system used to).

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This technology is still in the early stages and it’ll probably be a couple of years before the market shakes out and we see some definitive market leaders whose standards persist for years to come (or we see sufficient standardization so it’s not a problem). So maybe just make yourself comfortable with the idea that some choices might end up with a dead-end product in a couple of years.

With the never-ending reports of poor security resulting in IOT devices getting owned by hackers (this casino hack via fishtank still tickles me), and predictions that as many as 75 billion IOT devices will be connected by 2025, I’d prioritize by security, then ease of use, then price.

The Eve line of products do a light switch, power sockets and a colour changing lamp which are Home Kit compatible and use Bluetooth to talk to your Home Kit hub (Apple TV, iPad, HomePod) so don’t need a seperate hub. But that may cause it’s own problems if you’re in a large house or have thick walls, and availability depends on which country you’re in.

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The only thing I would caution for products without a hub is that usually they all create an individual connection to your router. The advantage of a bridge is the items connect to the bridge and the bridge then makes just one connection to your router. So while having lots of bridges is not ideal, it’s better than every single lightbulb in your house connected to your router.

That’s pretty much where the technology is these days.
The good thing is, the hubs are small and easily hidden. In even the tiniest of apartments, they could still go under a (non-Murphy) bed, be attached under a table, etc.

Bluetooth is worrisome, as it is limited to 33 feet in the best of circumstances. When one adds multiple walls and things (cell phones, microwave ovens, usb 3) radiating RF around Bluetooth frequencies, the range drops further.
Perhaps someon with experience can chime in.

Thanks for all the advice everyone! The main thing I wanted check is that I’m not going crazy. If Philips made a socket that was compatible with the Hue hub they would surely sell a LOT of them, so I just don’t get why they haven’t done it. I’m sure they’re working on it.